Washington: US Under Secretary for Democracy
and Global Affairs Maria Otero will visit India, Bhutan and
Nepal this week to discuss bilateral issues and look into the
situation of refugees in the region, the State Department has
During her trip to southern India and New Delhi, Otero
will discuss bilateral coordination on global issues, visit
Tibetan refugee settlements, explore cooperation to strengthen
elections organisations and consult on regional disaster
She will hold bilateral meetings with senior government
officials while in New Delhi, the State Department said.
Otero would travel to India from February 8 to 11,
Bhutan February 11 to 12 and Nepal from February 13 to 14.
The senior most Obama administration official to visit
Bhutan, she would discuss global issues as well as the
protracted situation of the Bhutanese refugees in Nepal.
Otero would also have a bilateral meeting with the
Bhutanese Prime Minister Jigme Thinley and other senior
officials, besides civil society leaders.
In her final stop, Otero will visit Kathmandu, where
she will address the Disaster Risk Reduction Symposium
entitled `Be Aware, Be Prepared: Implementing lessons learned
from other earthquakes.`
The purpose of the event, which is hosted by the
Government of Nepal in collaboration with the US Embassy and
the United Nations, is to raise awareness among key decision
makers of Nepal`s vulnerability to a catastrophic
Otero will also hold meetings with senior Nepalese
officials and civil society representatives and engage on
Tibetan refugee and trafficking in persons issues, the State
As Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs,
Maria Otero oversees the bureaus of Population, Refugees and
Migration, Democracy, Human Rights and Labour, Oceans and
International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, the Office
to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, and the Office
of the Science and Technology Advisor.
She also serves as the Special Coordinator for Tibetan